NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Defense has been consistent theme during the first two weeks of camp at Vanderbilt, but it was the offense that made noise during the Commodores first full contact scrimmage inside Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday night.
Starting at 7:50 p.m. in order to simulate the game time of Vanderbilt's season opener against Ole Miss on August 29th, the Commodores ran 12 series starting at different spots on the field and it didn't take long for the offense to get on the scoreboard.
Projected starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels drove the team down the field 95 yards on 11 plays during the second possession, capping it off with a 19 yard touchdown to Wesley Tate in the corner of the end zone.
Carta-Samuels and the first team went at it again a few series later, driving 75 yards down the field on 7 plays, resulting in a 2-yard touchdown plunge by sophomore running back Jerron Seymour.
The first team found the end zone again a few series later when Carta-Samuels engineered a 8-play drive for 50 yards with the senior passer finding All-American candidate Jordan Matthews in the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown.
"I think we got great work tonight, live work, under the lights, situations, all the different ones, I thought we got a lot accomplished tonight," said Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin following the practice.
"I think we're right near where we need to be, there's still a lot of things we need to clean up. I thought it was interesting, our defensive line had been dominating us all camp, but the offense was able to move the ball and make some plays tonight. We need to continue to develop depth and find out who are the guys that will be able to help us this year in our freshman class."
Carta-Samuels was sharp all scrimmage long, completing 14-of-18 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored a 3-yard touchdown later in the practice during goal line drills.
"I thought he [Carta-Samuels] was able to get the ball out quick tonight, make decisions, he was decisive, I think that's important, we've just got to continue to build on that as well. I thought he did some nice things, made some plays, but the ball in places where guys could make plays on it. I don't think we had any turnovers except the one really nice interception by [Darrius] Sims, but that was on McCrary. That was a heck of a interception by Sims."
Vanderbilt's offense also scored in the scrimmage when sophomore quarterback Josh Grady found tight end Dillon van der Wal for a 12-yard touchdown. Grady would later hook up with freshman receiver Gerald Perry for a 40-yard touchdown during 3rd down situation drills. The offense was 8-of-14 overall in converting those during that portion of the practice.
The offense generated over 400 yards on the night overall. Josh Grady finished the night completing 7-of-8 passes for 43 yards and one scrimmage touchdown. Patton Robinette was 5-for-10 on the night for 38 yards.
Jordan Matthews led all receivers with 67 yards on five receptions, including the 33-yard touchdown. Tight end Kris Kentera caught five passes for 42 yards.
Jerron Seymour led the running backs with 48 yards on 7 carries including the touchdown. Projected starter Wesley Tate had 13 yards on five carries, but did also catch a 19-yard TD. Sophomore Brian Kimbrow showed both some speed and power on the night while running for 24 yards on five carries.
Fellow Sophomore Derek King added 10 yards on four carries while freshman C.J. Duncan gained 45 yards on eight carries during third team possessions.
The Commodore defense did have some bright spots. In addition to freshman Darrius Sims spectacular one-handed pick in the end zone off of freshman quarterback Johnny McCrary, the unit also registered five sacks from Kenny Ladler, Jay Woods, Darien Bryant, Jonathan Wynn and Torren McGaster.
Vanderbilt will have Sunday off for its annual Dore Jam Event for the Commodore fans at the John Rich Practice Complex. The team will return to the practice field on Monday.